Beginner Breakdown

Yearly Waste at a Glance

Seconds in your hand. Forever in the land.

400 million
In the US alone, approximately 400 million sponges are tossed away every year. The majority of which will take centuries to break down, ending up in landfills and disrupting our ecosystems. That’s enough to fill up the Empire State Building.
Start With a Sponge
20.8 billion
paper towel rolls
More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the US, consuming as much as 110 million trees and 130 billion gallons of water.
Ocean Conservancy
1 billion
1 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away annually in the US, adding 50 million pounds of waste to landfills every year.
One Green Planet
2 billion
disposable razors
The EPA estimates Americans toss 2 billion disposable razors per year. That’s about one million pounds of plastic waste.
50 billion
coffee cups
In the US alone, it is estimated that we use over 50 billion coffee cups each year. There are enough cups produced annually for every person on earth to have 70.
Plastic Education
50 billion
tampons + pads
Approximately 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are discarded each year in the US. While many of these products end up in a landfill, others clog sewers or contribute to the staggering amount of plastics in our oceans.
Stanford Magazine
42.6 billion
bottles of water
Americans purchase approximately 42.6 billion individual 1-liter bottles of water each year, using approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce the petroleum-based bottles.
The Water Project
380 billion
plastic bags
Over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year, with the average family accumulating 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.
Conserving Now